Summer is just around the corner.
And my office has been full of people who somehow cannot embrace the energy that surrounds them because…
they’ve got the blues!
Yep depression has hit mighty hard this year. Usually as we get into the warmer weather, most people ‘trend up’ with their emotions. This year has been most notably for over 90% of my clients trending DOWN with their emotions…that is, into depression.
Why is this year so different?
Maybe it is because winter started last August. For the first time since I’ve been alive, August was COLD and wet – not the usual picture for the month noted for its hot summer nights. And September was also cold for at least 1/2 of it.
Then October had the first snows, which were expected due to the early cooling. And this year…
winter dragged on.
Maybe in was the bitter arctic front that made its way down for several weeks in an area it usually never visits.
Maybe it is a combination of all of these factors. All I know is…depression is so common here that it isn’t unusual for in a conversation to find that one out of ever 2 or 3 folks in my office are ON an antidepressant.
So, how do you fight off the blues when good weather seems to be bringing it out of you?
First, if you feel like you’re sinking in quicksand, get some help. Feeling better may be as simple as taking an antidepressant for a few months to tank up your stores, then go off them. Antidepressants come is 2 major classes, serotonergic and noradrenergic. So, if one class doesn’t work for you, have your doctor switch you to the other class, or to a drug that has properties of both classes.
Second, get some sunshine and some fresh air. Enjoy the spring and the summer by plugging into the beauty of nature’s renewal. Ride a bike. Take a hike. Swing on a playground. Lay back and cloud gaze. Or just sit in your backyard and take it all in.
Third, minimize drugs and alcohol. Many of these are CNS depressants. Illicit substances like crack, coke and meth may give you a TEMPORARY feeling of wellbeing, of energy and of mental clarity…but at a significant price to your health and mental stability. Alcohol can make you feel more blue.
Fourth, get some exercise. Get moving and get your juices flowing.
Fifth, pay attention to proper nutrition. Many people are worn out because they just don’t fuel their bodies with the basic elements it needs to perform, keep you healthy and keep your mood up. Improve your diet. Take food-based nutritional products/supplements which include vitamins, minerals and green superfoods. Get some omega 3’s, 6’s and antioxidants in there. Just like milk, they do the body good.
Sixth point, get proper sleep. If you are still tired despite proper quantity of sleep, talk to your doctor about whether you might have sleep apnea. There is no antidepressant that can replace proper oxygenation of your mind.
And last but not least on this short list, point seven: LAUGH! Humor does the body good. You should see my collection of funny movies, calendars, talking dolls, postcards and assorted things that I’ve been given or collected over the years. I don’t wait to get drained or down. I infuse laughter into every day…and so should you. A wise man once said, “Laughter makes the heart merry.”
I also have a collection of happy, feel-good music that, well, get’s my juices flowing, and fuels that feel-good state. You should too.
There is an eighth point which I think is so important, that keeps you in the right mindset. And that is to have an attitude of thanks. Be grateful for what you have. Use that as a seed to empower you to move beyond your current situation and moodset. Depression tends to pull you towards focusing on what’s missing, on the negative versus having you focus on what you do have or want. Although being positive may be more difficult when you’re depressed, you can still express gratitude.
Remember, you don’t have to suffer through the blues alone. Take advantage of the army of support you have and hit it with your best shot. Give it a knockout punch. Isn’t your happiness worth it?